Does your Thanksgiving gathering have a kids’ table? Ours nearly always has, and for most of my life, I’ve ended up sitting there. First, as a kid, then as a teen who was asked to help with the kids, and finally as an adult who often enjoyed the company of the kids more than the adults!
Whether you have a kids’ table or you just like having playful decor, this turkey centerpiece is just the thing your celebration needs. With just a little preparation and assistance from an adult, kids can craft a colorful turkey and proudly display it for friends and family.
If you have lots of kids coming for Thanksgiving, you can even print out a black and white version, give them some crayons, and set up a craft table for everyone to make their own turkey!
Here’s what you need:
Colored card stock (or white for a color-your-own version)
String or yarn
Large needle (optional)
Print the feather pages on bright colors. Four pages will make a nice, full set of tail feathers.
Cut out the feather shapes and use a hole punch on the solid dots around the edges. Kids can do this step, but make sure the holes don’t end up too close to the edge of the paper.
Cut a 4-foot piece of string or yarn and tie it through one of the bottom holes. Show your child how to lace through the holes going around the feather, and remind them not to pull too tightly, which might tear the card stock. When they reach the end, tie it off for them.
Make two copies of the turkey head and body on tan and brown card stock. You can print directly onto your paper, or print one template and trace onto the card stock. Use the templates to cut out four beak pieces from yellow and two waddles from red or orange. (Making two identical body pieces makes your centerpiece double-sided!)
Glue the head to the body and attach the face as shown.
If you’re making a color-your-own turkey, the PDF file includes a version with the entire head, body, and face all in one. Just cut around the edge and skip the assembly!
Use a very pointed scissors or a large needle to make holes in the gray outlined circles on the feathers and the turkey body pieces. Avoid the hole punch for these because the holes will be too large. Smaller holes will keep the feathers standing up.
Press the paper fastener through one of the turkey pieces.
Flip the turkey over and slide all of the feathers onto the paper fastener. Add the second turkey body on the paper fastener and open the two prongs.
Cut the slit in the tabs on the bottom of the turkey body pieces, then slide them together. You can secure them with a bit of glue, but they should hold on their own.
Spread the feathers out and stand your turkey up. This gobbler will be a little top-heavy, but it should stand unassisted. If yours is having trouble staying upright, placing a small wooden block in the base will help.
Your Thanksgiving kids table will be colorful, and the kids will love that they were included in the decorating!
Happy Thanksgiving Crafting!